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Old 07-14-2019, 11:22 PM   #1
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2008 Monaco Diplomat 40 PDQ AC breaker replacement

I live in Lake Havasu AZ and today I pulled the motorhome out of storage to pack it up for a trip. It was 115 degrees today the inside of the coach was about 90. The AC’s would run for about 15 minutes and pop a breaker. I opened the sliders for the bedroom and opened the closet door turned on the fan turned on the back AC and shut the bedroom door. Once the room got down to about 80 degrees both AC’s stayed running. So I am thinking that the AC breakers are old and need to be replaced.

So how do you go about replacing the breakers? Note they are 20 amp.

2nd problem, the dash radio has no power, any idea where the fuse is located for the radio?

Thanks guys.
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Old 07-15-2019, 03:18 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mit12 View Post
I live in Lake Havasu AZ and today I pulled the motorhome out of storage to pack it up for a trip. It was 115 degrees today the inside of the coach was about 90. The AC’s would run for about 15 minutes and pop a breaker. I opened the sliders for the bedroom and opened the closet door turned on the fan turned on the back AC and shut the bedroom door. Once the room got down to about 80 degrees both AC’s stayed running. So I am thinking that the AC breakers are old and need to be replaced.

So how do you go about replacing the breakers? Note they are 20 amp.

2nd problem, the dash radio has no power, any idea where the fuse is located for the radio?

Thanks guys.
For the radio try the front run bay under the driver's window. Remove the black cover and look for fuse 4-66. Your coach may be different but that works for a 2006 Diplomat.

Are both circuit breakers for the air conditioners tripping? If so I would suspect low voltage. As the voltage drops the current must increase to operate the same load. The circuit breakers trip on current which produces heat. If you do decide to replace the breakers it is quite easy. Turn off the breaker at the generator just in case it starts and disconnect from shore power. Remove the cover on the distribution panel and loosen the screw on the circuit breaker that secures the black output wire. Take your hand and pull up on the breaker on the end that the wire was connected. The breaker should pop out. Install the new breaker in the reverse order and re-connect the black wire. Put the panel back on and power the coach back up.

Bob
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Old 07-15-2019, 03:44 AM   #3
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You may want to clean the condensor coils on both AC units.

A coating of dust and dirt will raise the pressures, causing higher amp draw.

If on the roof, pull the big covers off and hose out the coils. If You see any kind of dirt running out, you may have found the problem.
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Old 07-15-2019, 05:56 AM   #4
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I doubt the problem is the breakers. Are those breakers ground fault units? If so you may have a problem with the wiring. Has it been raining? Maybe moisture in a junction box.
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Old 07-15-2019, 07:43 AM   #5
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Like Nodine said, heat is the issue. When the ambient air around a breaker is hot, it will take less current thru the breaker to bring it to the tripping point. It is also a function of time. The warmer the breaker gets, the less time it will take for it to trip. A common thermal rating is 40° C for electrical equipment. That's 104° F, and your breaker panel environment is probably way above that. So a circuit breaker rated at 15 amps should carry 15 amps, all day, as long as the temperature doesn't go much over 100 degrees. If it is 120 degrees in that panel, a fifteen amp load may only hang on for 5 or 10 minutes. A fourteen amp load may only hang on for 15 or 20 minutes. And so on.

On our coach, I learned that the combination of the breaker panel being in an enclosed area where there is zero air circulation, and a generally hot environment like you are describing due to your current climate conditions, and add in the sun hitting the outside wall of the coach in the area of the breaker panel, and throw in the fact that there is probably literally zero insulation between the inside of the "skin" of the coach and the back wall of the breaker panel, there's LOTS OF HEAT in those breakers even with no load on them.

I strongly believe that what you have is an inconvenience for you, but not an equipment problem. Twinboat has good advice, too. I've found the area under the cover of our heat pumps to be pretty dirty, and I need to get up there as well, and clean them up a bunch.

But there's no way I would think about replacing your circuit breaker, and I seriously doubt if you have any kind of wiring problem associated with what is happening.

A friend with a similar coach actually cut a couple of openings and installed a muffin fan to pull air thru the area where the breaker panels were located, and that solved his problem, which was identical to yours. On a few occasions, with the same problem you are having, I have opened the cupboard door in front of the breaker panel and clipped a fan onto the door to blow air on it, and that's solved it for me, too. It doesn't happen to us often, but when it does, that's what we do. Pretty clunky, but it works.

That's also one of the many reasons why we live in Idaho. (Smiley-face)
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Old 07-15-2019, 08:02 AM   #6
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If you have an EMS system with the load monitor I'd suggest watching what the amperage is for each of the AC units. My front unit started to draw higher amperage and occasionally kick the breaker. Once it got up and running it was fine.

Ultimately I found that the motor was starting to fail, the shaft almost froze up. Finally had to change it out.
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Old 07-15-2019, 12:20 PM   #7
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Thanks guys.
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Old 07-15-2019, 11:01 PM   #8
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Update.
Once I opened the closet door and turned on the ceiling fan the breakers stopped tripping. After the temperature in the closet came down I was able to close the closet and both AC’s have been running great.

I found the fuse for the dash radio. It is located in the closet number F16.

Thanks again for all the help.
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